Saturday, 5 April 2008

That old Writer's Block dropped by again.

Well I got a lot more completed than I expected this week. I've sent off a batch of shorts for competitions and done some feedback. I also got an entry into Coming Up, which I didn't think I'd have time to do. An idea grabbed me so I ran with it.

It seems there are a load of deadlines all looming at once and I don't have a big enough portfolio yet to just chuck something out. This leaves me with a dilemma.

Do I go for the BBC Comedy College and maybe not even have my work looked at because my CV isn't loaded with successes (yet?). Or go for Every1sacritic and maybe get my CV in better shape for BBC next year. They share a deadline. So I asked a couple of people who knew my stuff and they told me what I really knew already. Wait a year for BBC and go for the other.

But it isn't easy, what if this was THE break and I didn't even go for it. But if you stretch yourself too thinly and chuck out something you've had to knock together in a hurry then you won't get anywhere at all. I'm stuck between a granite clump and a rigid flat fish.

Anyway I've gone for Every1sacritic. I considered trying to get my current sitcom episode down to 15mins but decided in the end to start afresh. So there I sat. Blank sheet of paper in front of me. Pen in hand. And nothing happening. Zilch. Nada.

I usually get round this by doing a stream of consciousness. Just chucking any old garbage on the page. Let it form into something rational (or not) and then bin the beginning and pick through the rest for something interesting. So I shut my eyes. Raised the pen and let rip. Ten minutes later I looked down. Some sod had nicked my brilliant ideas and replaced it with a blank piece of paper!

I haven't had writer's block for ages. Must be lack of sleep from bureaucrats playing with clocks again. So I tried a more structured approach.
1) Think of a place.
2) Think of two people that are opposites.
3) Trap them in close proximity.
4) Now find a catalyst to push them over the edge. In this case I chose another character. So I've got a three-hander. The old top of pile, bottom of pile and the go-between … well … between.
5) Then turn up the heat and sit back to see what the characters will do. I made the temperature drop instead, literally.

They are turning out quite fun at the moment but I won't be sure if the idea has perambulating appendages just yet. I might still bin it and come up with something else.
But I'll keep the characters regardless. I'll tuck them away in a nice padded cell for a later date. I get really attached to my characters and can't bear to bin any of them.


Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Writers Block??? Tense, Nervous Headache??? Take two of these three times a day until symptoms improve.

Robin Kelly said...

I know what you mean about deadlines, I need to be more choosy and organised.

You do know Every1's a Critic closing date has been put back to August?

Even so I would still prioritise the BBC over it.

It's how funny your script is that counts not how long your CV is.

If you're unsure about that sitcom you were dusting off, I can give you an impartial read if you want.

Dave said...

Hi Robin. Rachael is away on a business trip. I have passed your comments on. She asked me to say that she will post a reply when she gets back at the end of the week.